Minor Major Seventh (minMaj7) Guitar Arpeggios

What's a minor / major 7 Arpeggio

Minor Major seventh arpeggios are built with root (1), minor third (b3), perfect fifth (5) and major seventh (7). They have a particular sound because of the b3 and the natural 7. Theoretically, they are played over MinMaj7 chords and most of the time related to the tonic minor chord of the melodic minor scale. However, there are different uses of this arpeggio as it is shown in the bottom of this lesson.

Min/maj7 arpeggios contain the same notes as minMaj7 chords. It means that they can be associated with the I chord of the melodic minor scale. They can also be associated with the I chord of the harmonic minor scale and with the IV chord of the harmonic major scale.

Dmin/Maj7 arpeggio D F Ab C
Dmin/Maj7 chord D F Ab C
Formula 1 b3 5 7

 

How To Play Minor/Major Arpeggios on Guitar

The two diagrams below show how to play a minMaj7 arpeggio on guitar. The first on the left has roots on sixth, fourth and first string whereas the second on the right has root on the fifth, third and first string.

Minmaj7 arpeggios in position

Differences Between Arpeggios

Obviously it is important not to confound the different types of arpeggios. Here is a comparative chart for a better understanding of the various arpeggio formulas.

MinMajor 7 arpeggio 1 b3 5 7
Major 7 arpeggio 1 3 5 7
Minor 7 arpeggio 1 b3 5 b7
Dominant 7 arpeggio 1 b3 5 7
Half-diminished arpeggio 1 b3 b5 b7
Diminished 7 arpeggio 1 b3 b bb7

 

Minor/Major 7 Arpeggio Application

Basic Application

The basic use of minor major 7 arpeggios is to play them on minMaj7 chords. Example with a minor II V I sequence in Cm. You see a CmMaj7 arpeggio applied to a CminMaj7 chord.

Minor major 7 jazz guitar lick

 

Locrian #2 mode

Let's take the same minor II-V-I sequence. Considering that Dm7b5 is the VI chord of F melodic minor so you can play the corresponding minMaj7 arpeggio that is FminMaj7 (F-Ab-C-E) over Dm7b5. This arpeggio is related to the Locrian # 2 mode, sixth mode of the melodic minor scale that contains a natural ninth (9). So, playing a FmMaj7 arpeggio on Dm7b5 highlights its 9.

Minor major 7 arpeggio guitar lick

Altered Line

Another example of minMaj7 arpeggio is to play it starting on the b7 of a dominant chord in order to create a little bit of tension and add interest to your line. As you see in the lick below, FminMaj7 starts on F, which is the b7 of G7. This way b7, b9, 11 and 13 are highlighted. 

Minor major 7 arpeggio altered lick

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Last edited: 20/10/2018